[Part I] How To Build a RESTful JSON API in Go - Testing

In my recent endeavor with Go I needed to create a RESTful JSON API with a Postgres database. This blog series outlines what I learned and the methods chosen to implement the API. First up in this blog series demonstrates the implementation of Behavioral Driven Development utilizing GoConvey.


A true RESTful service uses HTTP methods coupled with Unified Resource Identifiers to traverse an application. In this example, the input data from the client is also JSON.

GoConvey Setup

There are two primary parts to test within this example and I decided to break them up into "sub-packages". These "sub-packages" include api for handling the RESTful aspects and database for communicating with Postgres instance. Go makes testing very easy by sourcing any file *_test.go and running any test functions that start with Test*. For both "sub-packages" I created a single Test function and created a general structure to model each test structure.

Take the database sub-package for example. There is only one test function and that is in database_test.go. The other test file only contains test cases to be conveyed.

├── database.go
├── database_test.go
├── migrate.go
├── user.go
└── user_test.go

Diving deeper into TestDatabase(), we test out database connection items and migrate our schema for the test environment. The final portion of the function takes []ModelTest and runs each test case.

type (  
    ModelTest struct {
        Title string
        Func  func(*Store) func()
    TestConfig struct {
        Config `json:"database"`

var Conf TestConfig  
var Data *Store

func TestDatabase(t *testing.T) {  
    Convey("The Database Should", t, func() {
        Convey("Be Configurable From A JSON File", func() {
            data, err := ioutil.ReadFile("../configs/example.config.json")
            So(err, ShouldBeNil)
            So(json.Unmarshal(data, &Conf), ShouldBeNil)
            So(Conf, ShouldNotBeEmpty)
            Data, err = Conf.NewStore()
            So(err, ShouldBeNil)
            So(Data, ShouldNotBeNil)
        Convey("Have Migrations For The Schema", func() {
            So(Data.Migrate(false), ShouldBeNil)
    var modelTests = []ModelTest{UserTest}
    for _, model := range modelTests {
        Convey("The Database "+model.Title, t, model.Func(Data))

As you can see the ModelTest structure is in essence the parameters necessary to run Convey(). Since *testing.T was passed in the outermost Convey() it is not necessary for these nested tests. There for we can pass it a string conveying what it will test and some arbitrary test func(). Below is the test of the POST portion of the RESTful interface for the user model. The other conveyed tests in user_test.go check GET, PUT, & DELETE implementation.

var UserTest = ModelTest{  
    Title: "User Model Should",
    Func: func(store *Store) func() {
        return func() {
            Convey("Implement The CRUD Interface", func() {
                So(&User{}, ShouldImplement, (*CRUD)(nil))
                Convey("A User Can Be Created", func() {
                    So(store.EWT(user.Create()), ShouldBeNil)
                    read := new(User)
                    pm := new(PropertyMap)
                    So(store.QWT(user.Read(), pm), ShouldBeNil)
                    data, err := json.Marshal(pm)
                    So(err, ShouldBeNil)
                    So(json.Unmarshal(data, read), ShouldBeNil)
                    So(read, ShouldResemble, user)
      // Other Model tests go here ...
Running Tests

After writing all of our test cases for the model, we can implement the model using red to green testing. I will go into implementing a model at a later date but below is the output you would get after running go test -v with completed code.

=== RUN   TestDatabase

  The Database Should
    Be Configurable From A JSON File ✔✔✔✔✔
    Have Migrations For The Schema ✔

6 total assertions

  The Database User Model Should
    Implement The CRUD Interface ✔
      A User Can Be Created ✔✔✔✔✔✔
      A User Can Be Read ✔✔✔✔✔
      A User Can Be Updated ✔✔✔✔✔✔
      A User Can Be Deleted ✔✔

26 total assertions

--- PASS: TestDatabase (0.08s)
ok      github.com/elauqsap/echo-postgres-json-api/database     0.083  

Pasquale D'Agostino

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